Obtaining a license to do business in Illinois should not create unnecessary barriers for entrepreneurs or be an overly burdensome process. The number of businesses subjected to this state oversight has increased exponentially since the 1950s when licensing was limited to a small number of professions. Today, an Illinois state license is now required for roughly 400 occupations. While public health and safety must come first, new licenses should not be created unless they are necessary to protect the safety and welfare of the public. New licenses that are established by the legislature should also be crafted in the least restrictive manner to achieve its objectives. Ultimately, we support a holistic approach to reform that includes: (1) stricter sunset reviews, taking into account economic impacts of licensing (2) creation of sunrise reviews for proposed occupational licenses (3) increase of vocational training in grade school public education (4) increased reciprocity for workers looking to relocated to Illinois and (5) criminal justice reform.
As a strong first step, during the 100th General Assembly, the SBAC supported HB5212, an IDFPR initiative know as the Sunrise Review Act. HB5212 sought to provide legislators with a process to receive information and analysis from independent parties regarding whether a new license is warranted, the reasons for the license, how it will impact the economy and how to craft necessary licenses in the least restrictive way to ensure it is effective. This legislation passed the Illinois House of Representatives on April 25, 2018. It was not brought up for consideration in the Senate.
During the 101st General Assembly, this SBAC-backed legislation was introduced as SB1756. On April 10th, this bill unanimously passed in the Senate by a vote of 55-0 with overwhelming bi-partisan support! The bill will now to go to House for consideration. Thank you to the bi-partisan effort of Sen. Bertino-Tarrant & Sen. Plummer for working with us in the Senate.
One of the SBAC’s signature legislative victories in 2018 was the passage of SB2436, which amended the archaic Liquor Control Act of 1934 that previously prohibited the sale of alcohol within 100 feet of a religious institution, school, hospital or military station. For additional details on this legislation and the associated media coverage, check out the SBAC overview here.
Now that this is the law of the land, local municipalities, including the City of Chicago, must engage to determine the process and restrictions that best serve their businesses and residents. On Thursday, April 4th, SBAC CEO, Scott Baskin, testified before the City Council Committee on License and Consumer protection in favor of moving Ordinance 2018-7001 forward. This would give authority to the Local Liquor Control Commissioner to grant exemptions for establishments seeking a liquor license within a 100 feet of the above highlighted institution. This process incorporates feedback from the local alderman, the impacted institution, and the community, while also taking into account the current and previous activities at that location.
On Tuesday, April 2nd, Lori Lightfoot was elected the next Mayor of Chicago with over 70% of the vote and out-performed Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in all 50 wards. With the election behind us, it is time to turn to working with the Lightfoot Administration on ways to help small businesses start, stay and succeed in Chicago.
Check out minute 6:30 in Lori Lightfoot‘s election night speech – she highlights small businesses as part of the “economic engine” of Chicago and the need for permitting and sign reform.
The April Small Business Connection Newsletter sent by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) included a section titled: Two IRS Publications Every Business Owner and Self-Employed Individual Should Read. You can view the text of the article below.
The 2019 revision of Form 656-Booklet, Offer in Compromise (OIC) will be available for download on IRS.gov, Monday, March 25. The booklet contains current forms and instructions for submitting an OIC. Using previous versions of the booklet may result in delayed processing of OIC applications.
Publication 5318, Tax Reform: What’s New for Your Business, provides an overview of many of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes that affect business taxes. Topics include:
Qualified business income deduction
Business related losses, exclusions and deductions
The AABEs are awarded to businesses and organizations in recognition of achievements, growth and community involvement. Companies are based in or have a significant presence in the suburbs. The honorees were selected among nominations submitted by their peers and selected by a panel of Daily Herald Business Ledger staff members.
The SBAC was proud to play a part as a marketing partner for the event.
Calling all Chicagoland aspiring entrepreneurs – the SBAC Venture Pitch Session is back! Apply today to pitch your company to our expert panel, make key connections and win prizes! The application deadline is April 5th — use this link or the form below to apply – http://bit.ly/SBACPitch2019
This is a great opportunity to showcase your business and receive feedback from a panel of expert judges in front of an audience filled with leaders in the business community. The event is on May 9, 2019, and will feature open networking, a keynote speaker, pitches by 3 companies and great prizes for the winner!
The SBAC strongly supports the Employer Participation in Repayment Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation to empower small businesses to compete for top talent and address the student debt crisis.
According to the personal finance website, Make Lemonade, over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt is owed by more than 44 million borrowers in the U.S. — an average of about $40,000 owed per student. Many college graduates, working entry level jobs, struggle to make their student debt payments.
Small businesses are also impacted by the whopping student debt owed by prospective employees.
While some businesses may offer job applicants assistance with their student loans, many smaller companies do not have the capacity to provide such a benefit. This makes it more difficult for smaller businesses to compete for talented professionals.
Over the past two decades, the internet has changed the way consumers communicate, access information, and participate in the economy. Just as consumer behavior is evolving, technology is creating new opportunities and challenges by changing the way businesses engage with customers.
Net neutrality is the principle that consumers who use the internet should be able to access the content and applications they want, without their internet service provider (ISP) (e.g., Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, etc.) blocking, slowing down, or redirecting internet traffic, or extracting rents by prioritizing some sites or applications over others.
For businesses that use the internet to reach, interact, and transact with customers, the presence of strong net neutrality rules ensures that businesses don’t have worry about a customer’s ISP blocking or slowing the customer access to the businesses’ site, favoring competing businesses or requiring businesses pay expensive fees to avoid degradation or slow page loads.
The SBAC is part of a nationwide coalition, spanning across industry, focused on maintaining a level playing field for small businesses on the internet. The FEC voted to repeal net neutrality rules in December, but the advocacy efforts continue to overturn the FEC’s decision.
On June 22, 2018, the 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court opinion in the South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. case, allowing states to collect sales tax on online transactions.
Prior to this ruling, local and small businesses in Illinois were at a financial disadvantage. Now states have the authority to compel online and catalog retailers, no matter where they are located, to collect sales tax at the time of a transaction – exactly like local retailers are already required to do. Additionally, this will create an estimated $200 million in additional annual revenue for Illinois without creating any new taxes.
The next step on this issue is passing federal legislation requiring states to opt in to similar sales and use tax standards. The SBAC supports The Marketplace Fairness Act and its companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, The Remote Transaction Parity Act, to create uniformity for businesses subjected to these changes and ensure all avenues of commerce – online and brick and mortar – are treated fairly on sales tax collection.